tv Russian Intervention in Ukraine CSPAN March 22, 2014 12:21pm-1:21pm EDT
x dictation i have to live now, or things will be more expensive later, that spurs those decisions. >> hello. k davidson from politico. much has been made about the fact you and your predecessor agreed and shared many of the same policy views. can you tell us one way in which your chairmanship will be >>ferent and ben bernanke's? we are committed to the same set of goals. as i indicated, my goal, and i
will throw myself into this as wholeheartedly as i can, is to make as rapid progress as we possibly can in getting the recovery back on track in putting americans back to work and back in jobs. and moving up to levels of the committee's target of two percent. my predecessor was devoted to that also. strengthening the financial progress.a work in he made large inroads in strengthening the financial system. there is more work to be done. i have a long to do list. to seeigh priority further work done in addressing too big to fail. we have a to do list of things we want to accomplish and in
assessing threat to financial one ofty because neither us, no one wants to live through a financial crisis like the last one. we want to be extremely aware of emerging threats to the financial system. i have not answered your action by saying i will be different, but i think he had a good agenda and it is one i shared and it is to be vice watch chair and this agenda i continue to do. >> i wanted to talk about international developments and the crisis in ukraine. is the crisis a headwind for the u.s. economy and are there risks to the u.s. economy and the u.s. banking system directly and indirectly, and did the russians move $100 billion in u.s.
treasury securities and the last couple of weeks to avoid sanctions? those securities are held by the fed. thank you. >> let me start with the last piece of your question first. ,ovements in custodial accounts they are something i am not in a position to comment about. in terms of the situation in the ukraine and russia, it is something we are monitoring very close to. -- closely. andiscussed the linkages exposures of the u.s. banking system to the ukraine and russia are not large, that we are not , butmeaningful impacts now obviously there are geopolitical risks here that it is very important for us to be attentive
to and keep our eye on. we are not seeing a broader global financial repercussions. if this were to escalate, that would be something on our radar screen. we are not seen that now. >> you have spoken about how unemployment is more than just statistics to you. when you make that statement, who do you have in mind and what do you do to keep in touch with the human side, with the impact of the economic crisis and slow recovery we have had? >> i would the surprised if anyone in this someonesn't know touched by unemployment and
difficulties getting jobs and that is true of me and my family and friends as it probably is for many of you. ofpoke to a broad range business context and tried to stay in touch with what is happening to real people and the economy. we do a lot of work and development and have groups come and talk to us and explained to us how communities have been affected by the economic situation and the housing crisis. francisco, wesan had programs there and work closely in low income communities that have been very badly affected.
to study what kinds of tograms that can be affected try to understand what kinds of advice to those in the community developing lending field to help . i do try to listen to people who try to represent communities experiencing the worst of the crisis and stay in touch with it that way. x if time magazine have been around 864, who would have been the person of the year? generalchoice is sherman. we will be taking your calls live today on american history
television. learn us with your questions about the civil war and why was nominated your that will be on our companion network c-span [no audio] 3. atna kagan talk to students georgetown. here is a preview. decades it is one of the great things about a lawyer's career. you can move from one thing to another. you can experience a lot of different kinds of work in your life. the ability to recognize that there are lots of different opportunities that are going to .resent themselves to you it gives you a sort of freedom to think about your career. thatss the other thing is in thinking about that, just to reflect on this. this changes over the course of somebody's life.
i think mostly the lawyers who are happy are the ones who find some way to accomplish something for people outside themselves. what that is is going to bury enormous fleet from person to person to person. to think about the kind of work you do that because of the way it makes a difference is going to fill you with a sense of mission accomplished during that day. some feelings you did something that matters. something that you cared about. the mostretty much important thing in making people really happy. for about kagan spoke an hour. you can watch us here on c-span. i will be delighted to yield to our distinguished speaker.
>> please use your microphone. >> there's no question in my mind that the arguments in the statement i said on this floor the to me by complaints of members. they have not been notified. i do not believe that they were notified. i believe they do not get this. i am inviting you to hear a dialogue on my perception of what american policy in foreign affairs should be. to 1970.g to go back gentleman with whom i have the greatest respect. you are going to ask him a question as to their policy and
how they felt about the vietnam war. your wife lately? i want you to come in and answer the questions at the philosophy you have been. you do not talk about how during the eisenhower administration we were the very people that later on that others were opposed to. you do not say anything about this. it is very interesting. my personal opinion is this. you deliberately stood on that and challenge the people and the americanism. it is in the list that i have ever seen in my 32 years in congress. >> if i may reclaim my time. >> i move that we take the speaker's words down. from 35more highlights
years of house floor coverage at a facebook page. created by americans cable companies 35 years ago and brought to you today as a public service by your local cable or satellite provider. the panelists included vermont national security advisers was hosted by the center for international security and read about in our. welcome. we're going to get it going. the 45ous times over years that i have been in washington, they have been very good sources for me. sometimes on the record. sometimes maybe not.
this is someone who i admire greatly. the if there is a visitor from mars, he is a former security advisor. he served with president ford. he is a counselor and trustee. he was a military assistant with richard nixon. ford and nixon administration. that was with henry kissinger, right? clicks yes. >> and he holds the medal of freedom from 1993.
queen elizabeth made him an honorary knight of the british empire. and rogercohen has been a foreign correspondent of the "new york times" for more than a decade. he now writes a column for the times. he is an author of several books on foreign policy and also a biography of norman schwarzkopf. it is hard to know where to start this discussion, but let me just start the discussion. is this the new cold war? why don't we start with you, dr. brezinski. >> obviously, we don't know for sure, but it is beginning to look that way. it may not end up that way, but it is beginning to look that way. in fact, if i could just take two minutes, i would like to do something in which probably most of the people have not -- most of the people here have not done, namely, sites and experts from putin's speech. it is worth reading the speech in full. it is what he says about ukraine
more generally. in that speech he says, among other things, at ukraine -- let me get my clippings here. he says that ukraine benefited from the bolshevik revolution by obtaining large sections of the historical south of russia. he, in effect, is positing that ukraine's territory is invalid. when the president of ukraine asked that the borders be a limited -- be eliminated, russia agreed to it on the favor that there was an assumption that ukraine would remain a good neighbor. however, this is not how the situation developed. he also goes on to say in the same speech that it is also obvious that there is no urgent amid executive authority in the
ukraine now, nobody. that is a rather strange thing to be saying about a neighboring country. he assures us in his speech that russian armed forces never entered crimea. which is kind of periods, because we have the impression that somebody did. -- which is kind of curious come up because we have the impression that somebody did. and then he goes on to say, that we understand that our western partners prefer not to be guided by national law -- international law in practical policy, but the rule of the gun. and that we understand what is happening is that these actions are aimed against her ukraine and russia and against eurasian integration. and he also as, let me conclude that we have border declarations -- we have heard declarations
from key as about ukraine soon joining nato. let me say, quite frankly, that it pains our hearts to see what is happening in the ukraine at the moment, to see the people suffering and their and certainty about how to get through their day and worried about tomorrow. our concerns are understandable because we are not simply close neighbors, but as i have said many times, we are one people. now, what is that telling you? it suggests that if things don't get under control fairly soon, we may be seeing the next phase, which is an attempt, in a sense, to create one state for one people. like in other words, he would absorb -- >> in other words, he would absorb -- >> i think this is a speech that deals allegedly with crimea, but lays out a claim that can be asserted if things unfold in a way that provide opportunities. and it pertains particularly to the territorial edges of ukraine, but also key of. -- kiev.
>> back to the question -- is this the beginning again of the cold war? and is this your interpretation? >> it is not my interpretation. i just read excerpts. [laughter] >> i think this is not a return to the cold war. we have had a scratchy relationship with russia since the cold war ended. and i think it will continue.
but the cold war, i think, was pretty generous. and it evolved philosophies about the world, and the struggle for men's minds. this is not that kind of thing. this is much more practical. i think what is big red is very interesting, because if there is anything that makes confused reading, it's the history of ukraine and russia. the first state of russia, called bruce -- russ, had its capital in kiev in the first century. and they were driven up into the forests of the mongrels of asia, who didn't mind trees and did not go after them. -- who did not like trees and did not go after them. it has been a different relationship than almost any other part of russia, at and/or the soviet union. i would say this is new. i learned a lot about food and from what he said in the last few days -- about vladimir putin from what he said in the last few days.
putin is a different person, a very different person from gorbachev, or even khrushchev. and he has the outlook of someone who was kgb and who saw the soviet union collapsed. he is a person full of venom, because he talked of that -- he thought that collapse was taken advantage of by the west, or especially by the united states.
to humiliate russia, and take advantage of russia. as a matter of fact, he says, when we were flat our backs at the end of the cold war, you walked all over us because you could. he denounced the adm treaty. he pushed the borders of nato right up into -- you push the borders of nato right up into the soviet union, because you could. now we are stronger and you cannot push us around anymore. there is that, that goes through it all. but i think to say that this is a new cold war is -- we could make it one, but i don't think it is going in that direction. >> roger.
>> i agree with general scowcroft that in this instance, you don't have the ideological concept that you had during the cold war. on the other hand, i think we should have taken president putin a lot more seriously when he described the breakup of the soviet union as the greatest catastrophe of the 20th century. that is a pretty memorable phrase, because it was so extraordinarily unbelievable. i think many of us tended to laugh it away. but i think what we are seeing now is that president putin is absolutely serious about re-creating the soviet space. and looking at it from the perspective of what has just happening crimea, i think we can view the events of georgia in 2008 as a kind of precursor, a
trial run if you would like. let's see if the worst -- if the west reacts if i recognize them as an independent state. in that case, he did not annex. and then there were the medvedev years when it look like we might be able to treat russia as a normal country. and there has been this idea, the stream of the european space, or a eurasian space stretching from lisp and to body love scott -- from lisbon to vladivostok. but he is bent on something else, and alternative situation, or something like it, to the west. and i think we have a highly combustible situation. i agree this could be the first move in ukraine, but much more dangerous is the fact that there are russian speakers in plenty of other states surrounding russia, notably estonia and lafayette. -- latvia.
if anything were to begin to stir there, then an attack on any nato member would be considered an attack on all. we are definitely into new territory. i don't think we are into a new cold war, but we are into a new territory where we have to recognize that in moscow right now we have an adversary. we do not have a potential partner. >> dr. brezinski, what could or should we do now? >> i think we have to be concerned about what follows what has happened. putin in this speech has laid out a case that can be used for certain force directly against ukraine. might it disintegrate?
my part of ukraine secede? and then what happens? suppose violence breaks out, what choices do we have? how can we react? i think we have to try to anticipate that possibility and consider it seriously. one way to anticipate it is to still try to somehow convey to putin that it is not our intent to seduce ukraine, to drive into yet -- into nato, to turn it into a state that is openly, overtly hostile to russia. we have to work together in consolidating the recovery of ukraine economically and otherwise, because russia also has an interest in that, and so do we. and we and say to them, we will do it jointly. and of course, ukraine has a right to be european in spirit,
but it is not going to be a member of the eu for years and years. and we can reassure you that it will not be a member of nato. but at the same time, we have to convey to the russians our concern that those words spoken by putin about ukraine are terribly reminiscent of what hitler was saying about austria, which was then followed by the sudetenland and we know the rest of the history. that could be very serious in europe. either we are passive in the face of a calamitous explosion, or maybe the ukraine will fall apart and simply repeat what happened in crimea. you also have to talk to the ukrainians about their response and what steps they are taking to make sure that their state remains viable. and we have to be willing to assist them if they are determined. in a sense, an accommodation if possible, deterrence of the conflict if necessary. i would not treat this lightly. i think there is a spirit in putin's speech that is vengeful and triumphalist at the same time, and committed as mr. cohen just said, to the notion of this
new union, which is actually an old name, and empire with the capital in moscow. a good friend of the russians, a former member of the communist party in cosmic stan, now president of has expand -- of catholic stan is issuing warnings about independent state in the region. andrews pakistan openly saw that, and so forth. -- and whose pakistan --uzbekistan saw this openly, and so forth. >> doctors were crossed -- dr. scowxroft, do you think the sanctions have had any impact? >> i think we have done the minimum that we needed to do. and i think we will see what happens now. i agree with much of what he just said. i misjudged putin. as i say, he was filled with venom at the united states at the end of the cold war, but he's not a dumb man.
he's a smart man. and i thought that after he had ruled for a while, and after medvedev had his turn as president, that putin would see that they got a lot farther with sugar than he was getting with vinegar and that he would change. he hasn't. and that tells you more about him and we need to worry about
it. also, about the soviet union and how it felt, it is important to remember that in 1991 when the soviet union broke up, -- i cannot remember who was head of delaware shut -- belarus. they teamed up to take his job away from him. that plays into putin's determination here. and i think we need to be, when we talk about the sanctions we put on, i think we need to be confident, careful, positive, but not frantic, like putin is sort of getting. >> roger, dr. brezinski said we should talk to him and explained to him about how we really feel about ukraine. will you listen, in your view? or has he already got an agenda?
>> i think he already had a chance to listen. as far as i recall, secretary of state kerry flew to london just a few days ago on the eve of all of this and had several hours of talks with the russian foreign minister and they produced precisely nothing. i think president putin had decided a while back on this course and he has executed it. this is grave. this is the first act of annexation in europe since the second world war. another word for an ignition, of course -- for annexation, of course, is an insurance -- augnshutz. i think we could see if someone
divided west. certainly, asia does not look like such a good idea right now. when i looked down the sanctions list, these are pretty much second level characters. i'm not sure there is not a case for taking sanctions at this point right up to the very summit. if i recall correctly, at the conference in bucharest in 2008 where there was a lot of discussion of putting georgia on a track to nato membership, the russians, prudent, warned that this would have -- putin, warned that this would have serious consequences. and as a result, we held back. what happened? three months later, despite this concession -- i'm not sure that this is a man who listens to concessions, who sees concessions.
what is his language echo his language is strength -- what is his language? his language is strength. i think ms we respond to his strength with our own form of strength, you end up losing. and that, i think is the situation we are in today. >> what can we really do you cope next if i may -- what can we really do? >> if i may, the bottom line is enlargement, the enlargement of the european union at least. i think we cannot take from a scout a veto of whether -- take from moscow a veto of whether countries in eastern europe can be part of the european union. >> one, we need to give him a sense of a better option. there are people in russia who are very worried about what is happening. there are 50,000 people in the brutal regime demonstrating against this for just two days ago. they are worried. we can convey to put and you can have a deal that is reassuring, but it is no victory for you.
secondly, we have to consider the serious possibility in view of what he said that he will try the crimean operation in ukraine itself. with one important distinction. the crimean operation was premised on quick deniability. if something went wrong, and all of a sudden there was a lot of resistance, he could say, we never attacked. these guys were not mind. forget it. it was some sort of local incident. he cannot do that in ukraine. they're easy during cajun or there is not. and i think we need to talk to
the ukrainians -- they are either in ukraine or they are not. and i think we need to talk to the ukrainians seriously. are they really prepared to defend their territory? because if they are, we should make it even more clear to putin, don't plunge into that adventure because that can have serious consequences. and i would not tell the ukrainians, since they have already asked us for military resistance, that we are willing to provide our prepackaged military food. >> meals. >> yes, which we have told them. that is so far our contribution to their event. i think we should indicate that we are not going to be at war and we are not committed to war,
but if you resist, you will certainly gain the sympathy of the west will stop just as finland did in 1940 when stalin attacked. that creates pressure to do more. the net becomes something that putin has to consider. can he really undertake a war at this stage, given the state of his economy? which is very bad, and still in the relative state of his military, which is still being modernized -- in future years it will be in much better shape,
but right now, i do not think this is something a putin would welcome. either the break up of ukraine or some upheaval in ukraine. we have to assure him in some kind of convincing fashion that it is not going to happen because it is not in our interest, too. but do you think that the germans will go -- >> do you think that the germans will go along with sanctions? >> i think they are more likely now than when the crisis first started. part of the problem has been that we have both the u.s. and europeans being lazy about this whole thing. the eu made an offer for a relationship with ukraine. it was a little bit here, a little bit there, maybe some of this, maybe some of that. it did not amount to anything. hooton turns around and offers them a $15 billion loan. what the united states could have done at that time, and i think should have done, is to say, look, ukraine's economy is in terrible shape. let us, the united states, the eu, and russia, put together a program of assistance to ukraine to start them out.
get them going again. i don't know if it would have worked, but we are now assuming that what we've got to do is match them belligerence by belligerence by belligerence. and that may be where we end up, but i don't think we ought to start there. and just one other comment. ukraine has a very interesting state. it is not just a country. it is three countries -- well, to if you take out crimean now. -- two if you take out crimean now. crimea is for all intents and purposes russian. other populations have been driven out. then there is eastern ukraine, roughly half, that is primarily of russian extraction. there is west ukraine which has a long history with poland, lithuania, austria. there are very different kinds of evolutions here. when you say, ukraine this and ukraine met that, what is it you are talking about? and there may be one thing that putin has not calculated right. he has changed the relative balance of the populations. because crimea was russian. and now that is out of the mix. the balance between the two that are left is much closer. and remember, putin has also said that there was a who -- a coup against the president, yanukovych, who was a russian
student. i don't ever what i was going to say now -- i don't remember what i was going to say now -- >> you are right. [laughter] >> now the government is a government of primarily west ukraine. and that is different. and putin sees that difference and what he says is, use throughout yanukovych -- you throughout yanukovych and put in your fascist. but let me just say -- >> let me just say something. does this have anything to do with how the united states is now perceived in the world? >> i think it does, to some
degree. hooton had the perception that he could get away with this. transatlantic system has become an almost quaint term. it is so 20th century. who cares about that? the polls, lithuanians, -- the poles, lithuanians, they want nato protection for some reason. who knows why? and i think there was a sense not only of that division, but the united states where the operative word is "retrenchment." the united states has been through too painful wars and wants to look after its own for
a while. and while i don't think there is any direct link, i do think it is a matter of great concern when the united states of america set a red line in syria on the issue of chemical weapons and walks all the way up to the response called for by that redline, and then is seen as a last-minute -- abbey last minute to step back from nap i think that sends a message around the world. it is not something that people immediately forget. i'm not saying there is a direct causal link. but i think there is a sense of disunity and weakness. and on that basis, president putin, who is a man whose psychology understand above all, force, strength, brutality when necessary, i think that gave him a kind of green light. what he did in crimea -- i
hcovered the war in bosnia. this is exactly what resident the loss of it did in bosnia. serbian troops in bosnia? no, what are you talking about? there was an attempt at plausible deniability. you could see it. and you've still got these guys, now, today, these terrible photographs of the ukrainian army and neighbor walking out of their barracks with their hands up. and with soldiers pointing their machine guns at them, who are in camouflage. and no identifiable insignia. what is this? >> dr. brezinski, does this have anything to do with how the united states is perceived, rightly or wrongly? >> probably, up to a point, yes. and even right now, i'm a bit surprised with all that is happening that the president of the united states has not spoken to the country about the
problem, has inputted into the larger context -- has not put it into the larger context. he gave the statement about these minimalist sanctions and then walked out of the room. he did not say anything to the american people. i don't think there is that much clarity yet about our position. i hope it sharpens. >> i want to hear from general scowcroft on this, too. if you are the national security adviser, what would you do? >> i would, one, still make an attempt to see that the russians receive a larger accommodation with regard to ukraine, and a generous and balanced one. but also to make sure that the ukrainians know what they are going to do and are prepared to do it. and if push comes to shove, start indicating rather heavily that we will not be passive. and on that subject, let's and -- let's not exaggerate the divisions in ukraine. there are some russians in ukraine, but the russian speaking ukraine are not russian. they are like the swiss. the swiss are either german or french.
neither one is planning to join france or germany. [laughter] and look at some key people. one of the new horlick figures -- new heroic figures did not even speak ukrainian a few months ago. he spoke mostly russian. but he has picked it up in this current situation. timoshenko, the great enemy of yana kovacic, she did not speak much before this. and now she speaks russian. they were denied their national identity for a long, long time. but since the 19th century, they started evolving and developing and acquiring a spirit of its own and its own history. they, for example, reject the
notion of kiev being russian. it is of their descendents. it was greek orthodox. it was not russian orthodox. most people ignore that. they are asserting their own identity and claiming their own history. and it was a dispute on the subject between them and the russians. but putin said not just this time, but previously, ukraine is not a nation. russia and ukraine are one nation. the majority of ukrainians reject that. >> what would you advise the president right now, general? >> as i said, i think the president ought to offer what he has not offered yet, which is that we put together a program for ukraine and see if we can move away from the direction we are going back to where the problem started. i don't know if it will work.
and it may be that putin does think we have lost our will. i sort of doubt it, but there are a lot of indications to the contrary. and i think we need to remember -- we need to discuss these points with the russians. if there is to be progress with syria, for example, it would be nice if u.s. and russia were on the same page. iran, the russians have been basically supporting -- supportive of iran. it is not as if this is a cold war waiting to break out. we have had -- not warm relationships, but they have not
been bad everywhere. it seems to me if we can pull this out of the fire, at least give it one more chance to see whether putin -- to see the way his mind works. >> roger, you had a terrific piece in the "times" this week about the parallels of this. how dangerous is the situation right now? >> i wrote that because it is the centennial, obviously, of the outbreak of world war i. when the man shot the archduke in sarajevo, he was trying to secure the liberty of the south slavs from an imperial. and of course, president clinton is trying to revive -- president putin is trying to revive some
russian form of russian imperion. and many who are feeling passionately and indignant about what has just happened, and while it is true if you like three ukraine, it is also true that one ukraine was recognized him and its borders recognized by president hooton in 1994 when -- putin in 1994 when ukraine gave up their nuclear weapons. that was formal recognition of the borders that have just been trampled upon by president putin. i don't want to be alarmist, and i absolutely agree that the iran dossier, which is a critical one, russian help is important. everything has to be calibrated. but this is a sea change. it is a new ballgame.
and i think the situation is combustible, both within the ukraine if president couldn't -- putin chooses to go any further, and potentially in the baltic states where tensions run very high about being ruled from moscow. and i know that vice president biden has just been there to reassure them, but if any incident -- as we have just seen, as the outbreak of world war i illustrated, it was a 19-year-old kid who precipitated that cataclysm. we don't know what the spark might be. but i think this is a far more dangerous situation than many people imagine. >> let's go to the audience. i will just stop right here. -- start right here. you, sir. is there a microphone? here comes the microphone right here. no, that the camera. there it is.
microphone, over here. >> do you think that snowden has assisted putin in any way by supplying any ways of collection that we have in ukraine or surrounding countries that could compromise a response? >> i didn't understand. >> snowden, whether snowden. >> did snowden supply the russians with some kind of intelligence that might have compromised us in some way? >> there is no way to know -- to answer that without knowing what he has or has given to the russians. i don't know what he has.
>> [inaudible] >> it is more than one country. but i don't think we know what he has and what he has given to the russians. right here. >> back to what you were saying a moment ago about this being a game changer. americana has been the legacy of the postwar. -- the postwar timeframe, and its fundamental principle was the sanctity of borders. this has been blown away, for all of the reasons that you gentlemen have explain quite well, the history, the complexity, the russian empire, the ukraine. we all understand and i think we can have sympathy over the fact that most of the crimean's are ethnic russians.
however, as you pointed out, there was a treaty -- the treaty of budapest, i believe -- in which the united states and russia guaranteed the ukrainian borders. now this principle has been blown away. i think president obama is trying to say, wait a minute, we cannot do this and you cannot get away with it. what have you explained -- we do not have that many options. but if this principle of the sanctity of borders, which is at the foundation of peace in europe, is blown away, then what? what will the united states be able to do to repair this? because now, we are most likely going to allow this to happen because there will not be any going back, i believe. in other words, putin is not going to give back crimea to ukraine. then the principal of sanctity of borders has been infringed. is that an issue of great consequence, or can we just let this go?
>> i don't think it is an issue of that great consequence. and we did not think so either with respect to kosovo, which is a similar sort of action. as a matter of fact, we used force to try to make it happen. i don't think that is a fundamental issue. >> i think it could be a fundamental issue. but i agree with brent that it is not yet. for one very simple reason. the ukrainians did not resist in crimea. maybe they couldn't, but they didn't. and that makes it very different. because it was a kind of complacency or accommodation on their part. i am much more concerned with what putin is saying, that there is going to be a challenge to the integrity and independence of ukraine. that would be very different. >> the lady in the back.
>> my question is simple and short. how safe might georgia be in this given situation and new development? can we expect russia's farther expansion through the military? >> i did not understand. >> could you identify your self again? >> maja kate, voice of america. georgian service. thank you. >> it was very difficult for us. the sound is muffled. >> [indiscernible] >> we know who she is. what is the question? [laughter] maybe if you would come up here. i'm sorry to ask you to do this. >> thank you come again. maja kate, voice of america, georgian service. my question is, can we expect russia's farther expansion militarily towards georgia? how safe might georgia be?
>> the question is, how safe should georgia feel? i think the fact is -- having talked to a couple of georgians who attended a conference. they do not feel safe. they do not feel in the least bit safe. in fact, they feel threatened. and of course, those kinds of feelings, whether rational or irrational, it doesn't come into it. and if you are afraid, you are afraid. and when you've already lost 20% of your territory, which georgia has, and you see what has happened in crimea, and you see both the eu and nato basically slamming on the brakes whenever anybody mentions any notion of georgia coming into the eu or nato, you think, well, what is our future here?
we've got president putin up there eyeing us. and to the west, which is the direction we want to go, and it is a very disturbing situation for georgia. i do not expect president putin to move on georgia today, tomorrow, or this year. but that possibility is there, and he knows it's there. that is the way he wants it to be. to come back to your question, i do think it is a serious change. kos of oh was not annexed -- kosovo was not annexed. it was 90% albanian and it became independent after a bloody war across from yugoslavia that went on for a decade.
this is not the place to go into all of that, but i don't think it is a precise parallel. i'm sure many of you read president putin's long piece in my newspaper. at the time of the syrian conflict, where he was saying the only thing we have between the world and the abyss is the rule of law, the sanctity of borders, the centrality of the u.n. security council. international law is the only basis on which to conduct human affairs. orwellian does not begin to describe it. >> doyle mcmanus from the "los angeles times." i would like to sharpen the question on what the united states is prepared to do if the ukraine says it is prepared to resist further russian incursion into its territory from the east and south. it seems to be a bit of a chicken and egg problem here.
their decision on what they are prepared to do may depend on their understanding of how much support they have. dr. brezinski, you suggested that mre's are not quite enough. we can provide nonlethal equipment, lethal equipment, and air cover. there is the escalation. what should we do? >> in any case, we should have contingency planning for all of that. but we should couple that with a serious communication to the russians in which we would like an alternative outcome in which we would like to be partners. but we need to let ukraine know that if they resist, they will not be alone. we do not need to let the russians know exactly what we are going to do.
but the death of the pudding is also in the ukrainians. they need to demonstrate that they value their territorial integrity and are prepared to make sacrifices to protect it. i think the russians, the way they have operated in crimea, as i said before, where they are operating on a contingent basis. if there is a lot of resistance, we pull back. the same may happen in ukraine as well, particularly those districts where there are some russian people living and they are demonstrating and so forth. the ukrainians themselves, first of all, have to take some clear positions regarding what they intend to do with some degree of credibility. otherwise if we don't do it, i think we really are on the path to grievous instability and
other acts spinning over to georgia. azerbaijan, the russians have a score to settle with azerbaijanis. there are large populations that could be the object of several explosions with hatred and conflict. you open up the gate. our job is to reduce the scope of uncertainty by commitment and clarity and willingness to compromise on an intelligent level. but that also means the president has to take a visible position and speak seriously to the american people about the problem that we confront, that we and our allies confront jointly. and mrs. merkel's speech is a hopeful indication that more and more europeans are beginning to realize we are in this together. hollande has also spoken strongly on this subject. his busy schedule, it is a
sign. [laughter] >> anybody else want to talk about that? >> i have a question for all of the panelists. are you confident that if the eu and the u.s. failed to take effective measures, will china be encouraged to do the same thing in its neighborhood? and secondly, [indiscernible] other the u.s. balance-rebalance will the u.s. balance-rebalance suffer? >> if i heard it all, i will start out. i think the chinese sympathies probably lag more with the russians. but i do not think they're going